Category Archives: A Good Picture, Or Three…

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS AS THEY SAY, PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU CAN NOT GET OUT THERE TO SEE IT FOR YOUR SELF…

Outdoor Photography by Erwin Bauer. Mountain Goat on Front cover

Outdoor Photography: Specially For Hunters, Fishermen, Naturalists, Wildlife Enthusiasts by Erwin Bauer.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.  When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

Ansel Adams

The Biggest Day in the World!

Michael McCarty, originally from southern New Jersey, poses with his first bow and arrow. A hunter is born.
Is There Any Gift Better Than Your First Bow?

Here is a snapshot of one of the biggest days of my life, circa 1967 (I’m the tall one on the left).

In this case I got exactly what I wanted, at exactly the right time in my rapidly expanding universe. I am forever grateful, for a bowhunter was born!

As you can see, my little brother is quite happy too. My sister never became a hunter, but I give here credit where credit is due.

She had to live with us, and later, deal with whatever game we managed to drag home for dinner.

Long live young boy’s, the still wild piney woods of southern New Jersey, and bows!

Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Friends of The Hunted: A Story For Boys by John Howard Jewett. Front Cover Illustration. Decorated Boards.
A Friend I Am

*For Sale:

Friends Of The Hunted: A Story For Boys

by Jewett, John Howard
First edition. Hard cover. Dodge Publishing Company (1909)
Very good. No dust jacket. Signed by previous owner. With gilt decorations on front cover and spine. Bound in red cloth, with some light wear at edges. Internal crack. Quite scarce in any condition, particularly in First Edition

$75 plus $4 shipping (in U.S.)

https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@huntbook/55rc4m-the-biggest-day-in-the-world

The Promise Of Deer

A doe white-tailed deer on alert, watches for movement.
Watching Deer – Watching You

 

October 15, 2015

 

“One hot afternoon in August I sat under the elm, idling, when I saw a deer pass across a small opening a quarter-mile east. A deer trail crosses our farm, and at this point any deer traveling is briefly visible from the shack.

I then realized that half an hour before I had moved my chair to the best spot for watching the deer trail; that I had done this habitually for years, without being clearly conscious of it. This led to the thought that by cutting some brush I could widen the zone of visibility. Before night the swath was cleared, and within the month I detected several deer which otherwise could likely have passed unseen.

The new deer swath was pointed out to a series of weekend guests for the purpose of watching their later reactions to it. It was soon clear that most of them forgot it quickly, while others watched it, as I did, whenever chance allowed. The upshot was the realization that there are four categories of outdoorsmen: deer hunters, duck hunters, bird hunters, and non-hunters. These categories have nothing to do with sex or age, or accoutrements; they represent four diverse habits of the human eye. The deer hunter habitually watches the next bend; the duck hunter watches the skyline; the bird hunter watches the dog; the non-hunter does not watch.

When the deer hunter sits down he sits where he can see ahead, and with his back to something. The duck hunter sits where he can see overhead, and behind something. The non-hunter sits where he is comfortable. None of these watches the dog. The bird hunter watches only the dog…”

From the chapter entitled “The Deer Swath” in A Sand County Almanac”, by Aldo Leopold.

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I read this for the first time many years ago, and the basic premise of it has stuck in my mind ever since. It is classic Leopold, whose writings always seems to leave behind more thought-provoking questions than he answers. He was, and still is, one of the preeminent teachers of the natural world.

Looking back, I realize now that I have always sat with shoulders squared up to something at my back, watching.

Perhaps I am just a deer hunter at heart. It is the promise of deer, for which I wait.

Where do you sit?

Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also See The Aldo Leopold Foundation

You Might Also Like Our Post called The Gift

https://steemit.com/nature/@huntbook/it-is-the-promise-of-deer-for-which-i-wait

 

Vintage photo of what looks to be a 30" plus trophy mule deer, taken in Nevada during rifle season in the mid 1960's
Trophy Nevada Mule Deer Taken in the Mid-1960’s. Photo courtesy of David Massender.

Coyotes, Mountain Lions, and Bears, Oh My!

A closeup photograph of the eyes of a mountain lion
Things That Go Bump in the Night

 

August, 2012

Many of our followers are aware that I have done a lot of security work over the years, and I still do. I’ve spent many sleepless nights on one type of patrol or another, and I’ve learned to notice many things that most people miss in the world all around them.

Last night I missed a chance to see a big mountain lion moving just a short distance from my solitary post. It was reported to me by an excited and breathless observer, who apparently had some trouble believing his own eyes. He just had to tell somebody, and I’m glad it was me.

The sighting took place on the black top and concrete of a two-track bridge over a cold, clear river in western Colorado, not far from the unfenced yards of several exclusive homes and the manicured grounds of a large country club and golf course. It seemed an unlikely spot to find such a magnificent predator, or so he thought. For his part, the tawny beast was no doubt chagrined to find himself caught in such an exposed and vulnerable position.

The lion enjoys good company as he hunts. Coyote, the all-seeing trickster grows more bold and opportunistic with each passing year, having learned long ago to take advantage of the nonchalance of the family pet. He may have learned it from the big cat. Likewise, encounters with black bears are increasing, as are people and bear conflicts. As a result we receive many complaints about coyotes and bears on the property that I roam, and it looks like it may become particularly bad in this time of terrible drought.

After all, we are surrounded by the rocky mountain west, with national forest and other undeveloped lands close at hand. Still, a mountain lion report is big and electrifying news which will surely surge throughout the small community by morning. This creature rules by stealth, and it is no surprise that most people have never seen one outside of a zoo or animal park.

I have been quite fortunate to study them several times in my adventures and wilderness travels. I’ve spied them without them seeing me, and I’ve noted their reaction when they realize they haven’t seen me first. I’ve hunted them several times, and have found myself standing with the bawling hounds under the killing tree, with an angry and snarling cougar above. I’ve followed their distinctive paw prints over hill and dale, and on more than one occasion found their tracks following me. I love to watch them under any circumstance, and to see them do their thing for any amount of time is an awe-inspiring experience that marks an indelible impression. I can see a stalking cat right now, in my mind.

What I don’t like is this long-tailed ghost watching me, particularly when I don’t know it. I have absolutely no doubt that it’s happened, countless times, at close range and but a primordial fang away. I’d take a bet that it’s happened to you too, if you have spent any significant amount of time in puma country. Fates can change quickly, as the tip of a cat’s tail twitches, measuring what to do. But of course, we will never really know, and it only adds to the mystery and magic of it all.

 

A trail sign describing what to do when confronted by a mountain lion
Follow The Signs

 

I would have explained this to my wide-eyed mountain lion man, if I could have gotten a word in edgewise. There are some noteworthy visitors out there in the black night, just out of reach of headlight beams or human consciousness.

Think about that the next time you enjoy a hike on a shadowy mountain trail in a quaking aspen grove, and the hair on the back of your neck stands up for some unknown reason. You may wish to honor that sense. It’s there for a purpose.

Keep it in the back of your mind the next time you go out at night to check on your chickens or other animals in your backyard or back forty. Catch a breath, and take a second to wonder about what just made a nearly silent footfall, behind or above.

The possibility of a lion nearby reminds us of the wilds at the edges, and grounds us in the realities of the natural world. It’s an unsettling thought for some, and one that many of us have to live with when we spend time in the places that we love. Still, I would rather live where I live knowing that a mountain lion lives here too, rather than in a place known to have no mountain lions, and wishing that it did.

It’s a reality I am happy to accept, in the hope of but a quick glimpse, in the corner of an eye.

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

a nighttime trail camera photograph of a mountain lion
Things That Go Bump In The Night

 

*Update August 27, 2013

There is not a week goes by that someone does not ask if we have had any puma reports, and I must say, I’m a bit anxious myself. The leaves in the high county are beginning to turn color already, far too early it would seem, and it won’t be long before the early snows are as high as an elk’s belly and the mule deer are headed for the lower valleys along the river. The big cats are sure to follow, and it is then that there is a fair chance to record them on a well placed trail camera. We hope that the hunting is good this season, for us, and for mountain lions everywhere.

You can see a short video of our night-time visitor here.

 

 

Update: October 17, 2012

Game trail cameras are an invaluable tool for those wishing to document the comings and goings of our wild neighbors, particularly in those magic hours between dusk and dawn. Strategically placed, they can capture a delightful display of animal movements not otherwise observed. It’s great entertainment, with the promise of true surprise within easy reach. My anticipation of the next photo or the next video can barely be contained. You never really know what you’re gonna get…

We use several cameras scattered about the property, which we move on a regular basis. Our main interest lies in the activities of the creatures with two legs. We watch for trespass, intrusion, and foul play. That, of course, is a story for another time. Animal sightings are the bonus feature to the main event.

Today’s review of the image collection was no exception. They held the usual cast of characters. Marmots, foxes, and inquisitive raccoons. Wandering pets, and the occasional biker. One frame held the faint outline of a bear in the shadows, and another the up close face of a young mule deer.

And as you may have guessed by now, one camera captured a video segment of a mature lion on the prowl. At first there was nothing but the wide emptiness of the night, then the world lit up as the beams of infrared caught the ghostly figure like the flashes from an electronic campfire.

He was big and long and solidly built, with well-defined muscles that rippled on his bones as he padded easily back to who knows where. No doubt he had used this route before.

A house loomed large here too, just out of camera range. I know, because I set the camera there myself.

My reaction was sharp, and visceral. It’s one thing to hear someone else talk excitedly about their sighting and personal experience. You want to believe, yet, there’s always a little room for doubt in undocumented reports. It’s quite another matter when you actually see a lion for yourself, or have indisputable evidence in hand.

Real is real, and but a moment away from memory. It is undefinable proof of the untamed mystery of our realm, accessible to all just inches from the comforts of our daily routines.

I shall do my best to stay out of the big cat’s path and unseen wanderings, yearning, for his eventual return.

Hunt well, my friend.

Michael Patrick McCarty

Food Freedom, and Guns Too!

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Comments? Tell us about your Mountain Lion experience.

https://steemit.com/nature/@huntbook/coyotes-mountain-lions-and-bears-oh-my

Ladies Team Elk and the Ultimate Hunt

Hi-Lift Jack HL484 48″ Hi-Lift Black Cast and Steel Jack


The Hi-Lift Jack HL484 48 inch cast and steel jack is constructed with a mix of cast components and four high-strength stamped steel components. Performance characteristics and weight capacity remain the same as the all-cast Hi-Lift jacks but at a lower price. WIth over 100 years of quality, the Hi-Lift Jack is a rugged, highly versatile jack that puts you in command of situations requiring lifting, pushing, pulling, winching and clamping. Although light in weight and easy to manuever, the Hi-Lift Jack offers a rated load capacity of 4,660 pounds (2114kg) and a tested load capacity of 7,000 pounds (3175kg), achieving a 150% safety factor. Our jacks are designed to help you survive in the most demanding situations – whether you are in the Moab desert canyons, the Welsh mountains, the Amazon jungle or the farmlands of Indiana. With a full range of specially designed accessories, the Hi-Lift jack is just about the most versatile piece of off-roading, farming, auto recovery equipment you can buy. When its a heavy duty situation, the tool had better be a Hi-Lift!
New From:$71.99 USD In Stock

SOMEWHERE IN THE COLORADO MOUNTAINS

 

the girls of kappa alpha theta sorority and the ultimate truck prepare to go elk hunting in the mountains near basalt, colorado
All trucked Up! Team Elk, Theta Division

 

The girls of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority prepare to venture forth on their next elk hunting expedition atop The Ultimate Hunting Rig.

I suspect that many of you young guys would have liked to tag along on this hunt.   As my friend was last heard to say, somebody’s got to go…elk hunting that is.

Stay tuned for more hair-raising Team Elk adventures…

 

close-up of the ultimate hunting righ suv won in raffle
The Ultimate Hunting Rig

ABOUT THIS SUBURBAN

This truck was won in a raffle by the father of a friend’s sorority sister.  An elk hunter’s dream windfall to be sure.

* From Ray Long:

“Go check out the Eagle Valley Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Page and there’s an entire album of pictures and stories about it! Basically it was an abandoned vehicle we bought from a towing company and completely rebuilt it from the ground up! New engine and transmission, new gears in the differentials, lockers front and rear, tons of work and parts donated by the sponsors on the back! Integra Auto Plex, 4 wheel parts, signature signs, kings Camo!!! Just to name a few! Then we raffled it off over the year at local RMEF banquets and Country Jam, $20 a ticket 6 for $100 and gave it away a few years ago. A guy in Edwards won it and I used to see it up there occasionally but haven’t in some time and was curious what happened to it!”

Now We Know Where It Went…

 

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

You might also like Buck Fever In the Modern Age

 

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https://steemit.com/hunting/@huntbook/ladies-team-elk-and-the-ultimate-hunt

A Man Made of Meat – A Hunter’s Celebration

Weston Butcher Saw with 22 Inch Stainless Steel Blade (47-2201)


The Weston Brand Butcher Saw easily cuts meat into manageable sizes for processing. The heavy-duty, sturdy construction and stainless steel blades makes this Butcher Saw slide effortlessly through any type of meat, bones or game. Its trigger blade tightening allows for fast and easy replacement of the blade and the high-impact plastic handle make it easy-to-clean.
New From:$22.99 USD In Stock

By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

 

IT’S THE HOLIDAY SEASON

 

A Solo Hunter Drags an Elk Hindquarter Up a Steep Hill in The Snow While Elk Hunting in Colorado.
Bringing Home The Bacon. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Just in Time For Christmas Dinner.

Oh Joy To The World!

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Man in all his forms has been dragging something along behind him since he first stood upright and made his first staggering steps toward the horizon. Sometimes, it was a big hunk of life sustaining meat just like this.

They say that modern man hunts to fulfill some relentless though mysterious primordial need. Perhaps it is a way to reconnect with mother nature, to feel the wind on our face and remember our true place in the world.

I have another idea.

Perhaps we are just hungry!

Should We Get The Grill Ready?

By Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also Like Our Post The Way It Ought To Be

 

“The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information”. – Edward Abbey

 

“One does not hunt in order to kill, on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted…”.

From “Meditations on Hunting”, By Ortega y Gasset

https://steemit.com/hunting/@huntbook/a-man-made-of-meat-a-hunter-s-celebration

Cowboy Medicine – A Hunter’s Brew For You

Camp Chef Lumberjack Over-the-Fire Grill with Sturdy Legs


The Lumberjack Over Fire Grill a is fun way to cook at the campfire. Portable, simple, and ready to go. Simply create some hot coals, set it over your campfire, and you’re ready to start cooking. Its simple design is convenient to use. Place your Camp Chef Lumberjack Skillet on the grill and fry up breakfast, or cook your meat directly on the grill. Foldable legs make transport and storage easier. Made of steel for strong and durable use.
New From:$22.04 USD In Stock

 

A Steaming Pot of Coffee on an Outdoor campfire on a Ridge Overlooking Elk Country During a Colorado Elk Hunt
Set On Down and Stay Awhile. Photograph by Frank Donofrio

COFFEE UP – BOYS, AND GIRLS!

 

I am often struck by the power of photographs, and the way they can transport us in time and space, sometimes backwards to a place of fond memories, sometimes forward in anticipation of future adventures. I found such a picture tacked to the bulletin board of our local feed store, and I thought I would share it with you.

Exactly why it caught my attention so dramatically I do not know, but it stopped me in my tracks as I reached for the exit door. I stepped closer, and as I did it drew me deeper and deeper into that perfect recorded moment of experience. Perhaps it reminded me of a past hunt, with the excited chatter of friends or family nearby. Maybe you, like me, can imagine elk in the background and  just out of view, hanging on the edge of the timber on their way to cover or feed.  I can feel the crispness of the air there, and smell the smoke in the swirling winds. I can smell and taste the coffee too!

This wonderful image was captured by Frank Donofrio of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He calls it “Cowboy Medicine”, and he has been kind enough to let us reproduce it here. It is an unexpected comfort, and a gift for the eye of the restless soul.

Frank tells me that he snapped it a few years back, on a mid November elk hunt in the spectacular high country near Aspen. He says it was a cold, blustery day, and that in his hunter’s wanderings he happened to meet up with a woman in her later years and her middle-aged son. They told him that they had grown up nearby and were quite intimate with the country, having hunted it all of their lives. They were happy to share some of their hard won backcountry knowledge, and more.

The son offered to build a pot of coffee to help stave off the numbing chill, right there and right then. Frank gladly accepted. After all, the company was fine, and the view was pretty good too.

Apparently, the man liked coffee of the cowboy kind, brewed simple, black, and strong. The recipe is not complicated, but ask anyone in the know and they will tell you that it’s proper preparation is still a fine art, freely given, yet earned on a life of many trails.

Start with a healthy slug of water, freshly drawn from a sparkling mountain stream. Bring to a roaring boil over a fire of spruce and pine, and throw in a handful or three of coffee grounds as you back the hissing pot from the hottest part of the flames. Let it simmer down a bit, and then throw in a splash of water or two or maybe a fist-full of snow to cool it down. Take it from the fire and set it on the ground awhile to let the grounds settle, but not for too long.

It’s always best served piping hot, and there is something to be said for a dose of grounds in the mix. The old cowboys used to say that you could tell when it was right when you could stand up a spoon in it. It’s about texture too, and if you look real hard you can see them there, squinting past weathered brows while chewing on their coffee behind big handlebar mustaches. Or at least I would like to think so.

Now kick back and wrap your hands around a steaming mug of mountain medicine for warmth and moral support. Enjoy the ride. Savor the moment. It’s the doing of it that counts and where you are that matters.

That place be elk country, and there is no finer location on terra firma to drink a’ cup a’ Joe.

I wish to be somewhere just like this next fall, god willing, squatting behind a cowboy fire on a rugged ridge of the Rocky Mountains. There may even be some horses close by, nickering and pawing in the soft white powder.

We’ll keep an extra tin cup in the outfit, just for you. Hope to see you there!

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*I have always heard references to the fact that the old-time ranch cooks would not think of forgetting to add a raw egg or some egg shells to a pot of their boiling brew. It turns out that this is true, as the egg or eggshell attracts sediment like a magnet and makes for a cleaner presentation.

Well, I have tried adding the eggshell, and it does work. For now I’ll withhold judgement as to whether this makes a difference in the taste, but it might. I haven’t tried the raw egg yet, but in the camps I generally inhabit a raw egg is a much too precious commodity to mix in my morning caffeine. But I don’t mind being wrong, and I shall try it sometime soon.

Of course if I do that will mean that I have shared another elk camp, and that would be more than fine.

I’ll be sure to let you know how it all works out.

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By Michael Patrick McCarty, Lover of Coffee and Elk Hunting.

You Might Also Like our posts Sportsmen’s Recipes and The Best, and Worst of Food

 

A Young Up and Coming Cowboy Discovers The Finer Things in Life - A Cup of Strong Black Coffee
Real Men Love Cowboy Coffee

A Hook-Jawed Monster of the Deep Pools

A Fly Fisherman Poses With a Trophy Rainbow Trout, Caught on a Flyrod in a Pond in Nortwestern Colorado
At Least 9 Pounds of Rocky Mountain Memory. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

A TROUT OF A LIFETIME – UNTIL NEXT TIME!

A big trout is an extraordinary creature – built for power, speed…and battle. Some, like this guy, are more than a match for any fisherman.

We all wish to catch a trout like this one day. If any of you already have, then you know that maybe, just maybe, there is another fish like this out there…deep below the surface…finning…watching…waiting – for one more cast…

May your waters be wild, and big!

And Oh, By The Way – You Might Want To Get A Larger Net…

 

Original Pencil Drawing Of a Brook Trout By Charlie Manus of Marble, Colorado
Out of the Depths!

Original Pencil Drawing Of a Brook Trout By Charlie Manus of Marble, Colorado

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Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also Like Fun with Trout, and Some Books by Russell Chatham

 

“I never lost a little fish. It was always the biggest fish I caught that got away.” – Eugene Field

“There is always a feeling of excitement when a fish takes hold when you are drifting deep.” – Ernest Hemingway

In The Hushed Silence of Winter Storm

Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10×42 Binocular (Black)


Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor and built with Nikon ED (extra-low dispersion) glass lenses, the new MONARCH 5 is a serious contender to be the “go-to” binocular for any outdoor enthusiast. The MONARCH 5 delivers sharp, high-contrast views that are the result of a state-of-the-art optical system. Featuring Nikon’s premium ED Glass lenses and Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism Coatings, the MONARCH 5 displays exceptionally accurate color reproduction and a clear, natural looking image. Each of its Eco-Glass lenses are Fully Multicoated to provide maximum resolution and light transmission. The MONARCH 5 binocular comes in black finish and is available in 8×42, 10×42 and 12×42 magnifications. It utilizes Nikon’s high-eye point design to provide a clear field-of-view and long eye-relief. The long eye-relief ensures a sufficient space between the user’s face and the binoculars’ eyecups to make them comfortable for everyone, even for those wearing eyeglasses. The turn-and-slide rubber eyecups make it easy to find the right eye positioning for extended periods of use. The MONARCH 5 also utilizes a smooth central focus knob that makes it easy to bring object into focus for fast viewing. Built for extreme usage, the MONARCH 5 is Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed, making it completely waterproof and fog proof. A protective, rubber-armored coating strengthens its durability and ensures a non-slip grip during wet and dry conditions.
New From:$300.00 USD In Stock

 

Laying Low and Hanging Out. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

It’s a lean, yearning, time of year. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

A Trophy Mule Deer Buck On Alert During A Colorado Winter Snowstorm
Hard to Hide Those Antlers. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

A small herd of cow elk weave in and out of the snow during a November Storm in the Rocky Mountains
Out of the Storm. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

A Hope for Next Year

 

Here’s a buck that I have watched grow up over the last few years. I can only imagine what he may look like next year – should he survive another Colorado winter and a long hunting season. The light may not be very good, but as you can see, he is a good buck by any measure.

Unfortunately, this buck roams from private land to private land and my guess is that he never steps foot in a place where you could hunt him. But then again, perhaps he does.

There is a small piece of almost inaccessible public land that borders his normal range. I think I shall hunt him there, next year. Or should I say, I will try.

A man has to look forward to something, particularly through the long interval between seasons.

But for now, it’s sure nice to see him again…